Tutor

If you enjoy working closely with individual students on a face-to-face basis, a tutoring career could be for you. Teachers can supplement their income by working as a tutor. Tutors work with students who have not been able to keep up because of illness, language barriers, or disabilities.

Tutors might work as independent contractors from their homes, from neutral sites such as libraries, or in the students’ homes. They also can be hired to work in after-school tutoring programs on elementary, middle school, or high school campuses, or in a tutoring center at a community college. A tutoring coordinator matches the needs of students with the available tutors.


Tutors are needed to staff nonprofit tutoring programs and government programs such as No Child Left Behind.

There is no single career path to follow to become a tutor, but prospective tutors should at least have a bachelor’s degree in the field in which they’re seeking to work, be well-qualified in the field they wish to tutor, and specialize in subjects they know well.

You might need to brush up on your skills. If you plan to make tutoring a career choice, take continuing education classes or workshops in your subject. You should enjoy guiding people to understand concepts they previously misunderstood or had no knowledge of.

Tutors should be patient and willing to go back and explain again in other words. They should be dedicated to the students they’ve committed to work with and have weekends and evenings available on a regular basis.

Be organized. If you work as a private tutor, you need to design your syllabus and keep up with your appointments.

Create a lesson plan. Develop different plans for adults and children and for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learners. Prepare and practice lessons. Be sure to have more material than you think you’ll need. Make lessons interesting and interactive.

Keep parents informed about student progress. Don’t inflate students’ abilities, but encourage the students to do well. Listen more than you speak. Establish a dialogue, and then respond to what students don’t know or understand.

Avoid situations that will put you or the student at risk. Meet in a public place, or in the student’s house when (and only when) a parent is at home. Always make sure one other adult is present.

Tutors make $12-20 an hour and might work a few hours a week with each client, though tutors with extensive experience in technical fields can charge competitive rates for their services.

Work up a services sheet explaining your availability, subjects, ages, location, and contact information. Include a schedule of fees. Tutors are often paid on an hourly basis. See what others are charging and set your fees accordingly. You can charge a little less an hour than a company with overhead.

Advertise your services on tutoring websites and in places where parents are likely to see them.